When TV was in its pioneer stage, Evansville, Indiana, would become the home — and WFIE the platform — for one of the strongest influencers in television news history. Marcia Yockey, a local weathercaster with a big personality and enduring good nature, had a strong hand steering the course for public-facing meteorologists today.
The Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame will induct Yockey on Oct. 2 during its annual conference at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Evansville’s David James, the WNIN producer, presenter, and host of “Two Main Street,” worked with Yockey at the beginning of his 41-year career as a WFIE-TV news anchor.
Yockey, who broadcast from 1953 to 1988 between WFIE and WTVW, died in 2000.
“Marcia was the top television personality in the Evansville market, known regionally and probably nationally,” James recalls. “When people would visit the area, (locals) would say, check out this lady on Channel 14 who does the weather.”
Viewers enjoyed improvised commentary and antics in every WFIE weathercast. With her signature ponytail and bangs bouncing with each movement, Yockey always was game. She never failed to surprise, whether in the studio with props, costumes, confetti, or on location, perhaps in a bathing suit on a hot day after riding in a local parade.
“She was a unique commodity,” James says, “and once (management) realized that people were watching her, she had, I think, carte blanche to do whatever she wanted.”
James attests to Yockey’s professionalism as part of her authenticity.
“She went to the Weather Bureau, got the latest information, and came to the station to put her map together. She was very professional because pilots and farmers would watch the weathercast,” he says. “A lot of people were counting on her, and they trusted her.”